Gender differentials of the oldest old in China
Based on unique data from a sample of nearly 9,000 people ages 80 to 105 interviewed in 22 provinces in 1998, we found that gender differentials in educational attainment among the Chinese oldest old are enormous: Many more women are illiterate. Oldest old women are more likely to be widowed and economically dependent, much less likely to have pensions, and thus more likely to live with their children and rely on children for financial support and care. The female oldest old in China are also seriously disadvantaged in activities of daily living, physical performance, cognitive function, and self-reported health, as compared with their male counterparts; these gender differences are more marked with advancing age. The large gender differentials among the Chinese oldest old need serious attention from society and government, and any old-age insurance and service programs to be developed or reformed must benefit older women and men equally.
Yi, Z; Yuzhi, L; George, LK
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